George Allen / EducateMHC Blog Mobile Home & Land Lease Community Advocate & Expert

October 12, 2022

SECO Take-Aways, & Are You a Go-Giver?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 8:59 am

Blog Posting # 710. Copyright 14 October 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing! EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815 and or visit

SECO Take-Aways, & Are You a Go-Giver?

Ever been to Stone Mountain, GA? Well, this is where the 11th annual SECO conference was held last week. Once again, Spencer Roane, MHM, and his team planned and hosted what has become the premier educational and networking opportunity for land lease community owners/operators and their supporting service and product vendors.

Due to scheduling issues I was only able to attend for 1 ½ days of the four day program; but in that short period of time I picked-up on a plethora of new and helpful information to share with you. Here goes:

No formal theme to the event that I saw, but it certainly could have been – given the ‘play’ it received from keynote presenters: Change from NIMBY to YIMBY! That is to say, work to mitigate ‘Not in my back yard!’ land use prejudices and encourage, at every level, ‘Yes in my back yard!’ zoning and rezoning for all forms of affordable housing! Once and for all, neutralize proponents of LULU (‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’) and BANANA (‘Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone!’). How to do this? Support initiatives by the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and get personally involved in local politics! The latter is not an easy task; however, as land use is local housing market sensitive, local influence and pressure must be applied!

Manufactured housing design in 2023? One economist suggested, given pandemic-influence and emerging work trends, include a home office in every manufactured home and improve homeowner’s access to the internet.

‘Bring Capitalism back to the U.S.!’ was another underlying theme at this year’s SECO event.

‘No more trailer talk!’ Hard for me to believe we still have to repeatedly and publicly take stands against this regressive terminology bugaboo. No one who wants to see the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities improve market share, and embracing of the lifestyle, MUST take a stand against using ‘trailer terminology’ at all levels and at all times!

And there are some novel business economic resources available to manufactured housing entrepreneurs and performance analysts:

• ‘Flexible CPI, St. Louis Fed’. What you’ll find is an alternative means of tracking and evaluating the Consumer Price Index as a key economic indicator. Try it, you’ll like it.

• ‘ESG or Environmental Social & Governance’. In my opinion this concept is a ‘woke red herring’ where businesses are concerned. Nothing about profitability here, but still worth considering.

• a commercial real estate tool that helps analysts to evaluate ‘sites to do business’. Might be just what you need before opening a new plant or developing raw land into a new land lease community.

Make plans now to attend the SECO conference during year 2023. More than likely it’ll be sometime during the fall, maybe October again. This was my first business trip out of retirement, since August 2021, and though the trip was difficult for me (long walks in airports); I hope to see you there next time around. GFA

Are You a Go-Giver?
Just finished reading THE GO—GIVER, ‘A little story about a powerful business idea’, authored by Bob Burg and John David Mann way back in 2007. And yes, it’s available, at a very low price, on

What started out here as a book review, broadens into a specific character study of a well-known manufactured housing businessman.

The book claims there’re five keys to personal success in business, keys often overlooked in business schools and sometimes by mentors. My intent is not to quote these keys word for word, but tell you enough for you to ‘get the idea’, and maybe read the book yourself.

Key # 1. Purports one’s true worth has to do with how much you give, rather than ‘take’ during the course of events. In other words, are you a routinely ‘giving’ person?

Key # 2. One’s income has a lot to do with how many, and how well, you serve business associates. You know, ‘what goes around comes around’.

Key # 3. Your influence has a lot to do with how much you look out for the other guy, a.k.a. ‘enlightened self-interest’. Easy to do once one makes this a habit.

Key # 4. Not meaning to repeat, but the most valuable gift you have to offer your colleagues is yourself. Bet this type person is your best friend in business circles. It certainly is for me.
Key # 5. And when previous keys are in place, be open to receiving what comes your way!

Now, here’s where I experienced an epiphany (‘insight’) reading this book. I, all of a sudden, realized the very person who gave me this ‘read’ epitomizes the key points put forth therein.

He’s forever, in my case, giving of himself, in terms of advice, camaraderie, even this book.

He’s reaped the financial rewards that arise by well-serving his business associates nationwide.

He’s famous for advancing the realty education interests of college and grad students.

He’s just about ‘everybody’s friend’ when it comes to networking and mentoring among peers.

He’s, while probably reticent to admit it, willing to receive from others as well.

So, who, in my opinion, embodies of the core message of THE GO-GIVER? Rick Roethke, founder and president of Barrington Investments (Indiana and southern California). I’ve known Rick most of my 40+ year business career. And as recently as early October (2022), we sat and lunched outdoors at Tom Todd’s General Supply ‘Open House’ in Indianapolis. Time and again, and again, individuals walked over to talk to us; more often than not, to ask Rick for his opinion or advice about one or another matter. And that’s how go-giver rolls: give of oneself, serve others, put them first, offer oneself, and be open to receiving!

George Allen, CPM, MHM

Know the two best-selling books at EducateMHC these days? First and foremost is COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT IN THE MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY. This is the 8th edition of ‘Mobile Home Park Management’, penned way back in 1988. It’s chock full of everything one needs to know and do when professionally managing a land lease community.

And SWAN SONG. As the subtitles proclaim: ‘History of the land lease community from 1970 to present day’, and ‘Official list of new manufactured homes produced annually, from 1955 to present day’. No other text has this veritable one-two punch!

In my opinion, both these books belong in every land lease community office across the U.S. To purchase your copies, visit

And while you’re there, consider ordering my autobiography: FROM SMITTYALPHA6 to MHMAVEN. The Smitty Alpha 6 reference is to my radio call sign when a USMC company commander in Vietnam, and MHMaven is an Allenism abbreviation for ‘manufactured housing maven’. Try it, you’ll like it! Lots of photographs, including two showing the ¼ mile diameters of atomic demolitions munitions blasts out in the desert. ADMs = our secret ace in the hole in Vietnam.

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